About

The Short

Thanks for stopping by. My name is Mark Kaigwa and I’ve spent the last 7 years helping global and African businesses, brands and nonprofits use technology to connect with Africans online. I’m a consultant, strategist and speaker who likes to get hands-on solving problems and applying ideas that will change the future of this continent and emerging markets.

I have a multidisciplinary background with experiences ranging in marketing & communications, design thinking, screenwriting, film production and directing as well as creative direction in advertising.

I’m available for business, speaking engagements, partnership and to have a coffee as I may be in your city sometime so drop me a line with the contact form below or reach me at hello@mark.co.ke or +254-722-905-553. I’m Mark.Kaigwa on Skype and MKaigwa on your favourite social network. e.g. facebook.com/MKaigwa, Twitter, Quora and LinkedIn.

The Long

I’ve been involved in a number of different projects since I began my professional career, this is a summary with some of the highlights so far.

Professional Speaking

 

I’ve been hard at work over the past 5 years working on become one of the continent’s most articulate speakers and storytellers to describe the growth and renaissance of Africa. I’ve done everything from 1 day training sessions with managers and executives to keynotes to hundreds. If a request within Kenya I am represented by Wendy at Speak to Africa. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with her or myself for details or see more on my Speaking page.

Below is a video from my last talk at Media Evolution’s #TheConf in Malmö, Sweden. Thanks to everyone for all the tweets and feedback on the talk. My session was half of China and Africa: Drivers of New Innovation & Behaviour 

I’m always interested and flexible with matters of speaking and travel so get in touch – hello@mark.co.ke

Blogging & Online Publishing

In terms of online publishing I’ve been blogging for as long as I’ve been online, whether through early Facebook Notes to being an early adopter of Twitter in 2008 I’ve been attracted to the idea of being an African content creator and passionate about encouraging others to take up their place. In this regard I’m proud to be part of 3 leading African blogs.

I am Partner at Afrinnovator.com – one of CNN’s Top African Voices to follow. There I’m one half of Africa’s best respected and East Africa’s leading blogs on technology, innovation and startups in the region. I share much on events, interview startups and technologists as well as write about trends in angel investment, deals, business advice and lead partnerships. I have the pleasure of working on this great endeavour to put Africa on the Map with Founder Will Mworia.

I am Partner at the AfricanDigitalArt Network where my passion for creativity and curating the web’s leading digital and creative inspiration has me working alongside Creative Director Jepchumba and Editor Barbara Muriungi. Here I share insights and interviews with leading African creative professionals and curate select works of artists and designers on behalf of the blog.

I’ve been blogging in my personal capacity here at Mark: My Words and my internet scratchpad - Missed the Mark – the stuff that doesn’t make it onto Mark My Words since 2009.

Film & Digital Media

Award-Winning Videogame

In 2007 I led creative direction on an award-winning videogame for Warner Bros. Interactive titled Pamoja Mtaani. It was Warner Bros. first African videogame and it takes place in Nairobi, Kenya in English and sheng - Kenyan Swahili-based slang.

Pamoja Mtaani Screenshot

It was an open-world videogame based on the Unreal 2.5 engine developed in partnership with Virtual Heroes and Warner Bros. Interactive. For those who are keen to get a technical review of what we did you can find that here on the Unreal Engine website. For previous press that I’ve done around the game you can find that here (Daily Maverick) and here.

5 Animated Films for Warner Bros. Animation

As part of the same project I was also able to write 5 animated short films for the project with celebrated animation director Chris Bailey (Alvin & The Chipmunks, Kim Possible, Garfield) they were part of a great campaign meant to seed and spread buzz about the videogame through the network of screens populating many matatu routes across the city that year. You can watch all 5 of them here.

Writer/Director Live Action Film

In 2010 at the Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu, Durban my debut film Dawa made its world premier as part of the 31st Durban International Film Festival. I wrote and directed the film as an alumni of the Maisha Film Lab class of 2009. The film will be online exclusively in the weeks to come on Buni TV so look out for that. It was also an interesting breakthrough experiment in social media & filmmaking – with the basic premise for launch being that if someone across the world chose to host a Dawa Screening Party the host would get a free copy of the film and if I was in the city I would visit. This simple concept gained fast appeal with over a dozen such gatherings everywhere from Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco, Nairobi, Cape Town, Lagos and Paris – opening my eyes to the power of social media.

Since writing and directing Dawa I’ve worked on a select group of film projects since then – the last being a short film for MasterCard & Missing Link.

African Animated Film Showcase

Africa has a brilliant 75 years worth of African animated film. I was charged with the task to curate this and present a showcase of these brilliant works of art from Egyptian 2d animation to stop motion from Niger. The full breakdown of that is available on AfricanDigitalArt and if interested in that for a Museum exhibit or a film festival do get in touch.

Sandbox, Startups & “Silicon Savanna”

I’ve tried my best to be one of the best connected people in East Africa. Whether it’s matters of an investor seeking a slice of Silicon Savanna dealflow in the $250k-$5ook or you’re looking for advice on a great place to grab a bite in downtown Accra, I’m a power networker and happy to help.

Mark_Kaigwa_Picture_Computer_Lab_Africa_Rising_

As African Ambassador for the Sandbox Network - the world’s leading community of hand-selected young achievers and innovators under 30 – I represent the organisation’s Africa interests and lead the Nairobi hub along with my incredible co-Ambassador Jonathan Kalan. I’m also a Fellow at the African Leadership Network – described as “The African Davos.

I’m available for business, speaking engagements, partnership and to have a coffee as I may be in your city sometime so drop me a line with the contact form below or reach me at hello@mark.co.ke or +254-722-905-553. I’m Mark.Kaigwa on Skype and MKaigwa on your favourite social network.

Thanks to Rick Roxburgh for the photography.